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business funding

raise funding through alternative financeSince the recession of 2008/2009, there has been a significant reduction in the ability of banks to lend to British SMEs.

Whilst mainstream finance is still great for some businesses, many banks now have lending criteria that small businesses are unable to fulfill.

Fortunately, ‘alternative finance’ can offer a viable substitute for entrepreneurs looking for innovative and flexible ways to fund their business growth.

But before blindly assuming alternative finance is the answer to all your financial woes, there are six things you need to understand before you approach an alternative finance provider looking for funding. Continue…

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Business is a complicated old game sometimes. Just when you think you’ve got your head round one thing, you realise there’s another rule you didn’t know about!

Here’s a good example. Did you know it’s possible to get your business into serious financial trouble by selling too much?
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When you are starting out in business, you need to quickly grasp that the three key factors that determine a company’s financial success, or failure, are:

  1. Sales
  2. Control of costs
  3. Cash management

Two out of three simply won’t work – you need to have complete control over these three crucial aspects, otherwise your chances of succeeding in business will be very limited. Continue…

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Most companies will face some kind of cash flow problem at some point. Temporary cash flow problems or financial squeezes usually arise out of matters that are outside of the immediate control of the directors, but when problems like this happen it’s vital you take the right steps and move quickly to ensure the issue doesn’t escalate.

To help you navigate safely through troubled financial waters, we’ve asked Richard Saville of Corporate Financial Services to set out the 10 key steps you need to consider when your business is faced with a financial problem. Continue…

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Borrowing money from a bank to finance your business is a lot harder than getting a loan to buy a new car or to improve your home.

Banks have a number of tough rules that you need to know before you approach them for a business loan, and these rules have become even more stringent as a result of the credit crunch.
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If you are looking to start a new business, there is a good chance that you will need some funding to get it off the ground. Most businesses will have start-up costs, whether it’s securing premises, stock, equipment or hiring people, and they will all need paying for.

Some people might have savings, or a redundancy payment, they can use to fund their start-up, but others will need to find funds before they can launch their new business. However, as many prospective business owners find out, getting start-up finance can be difficult.

For someone who just wants to start their own business, negotiating the finance maze can be confusing and take up a lot of valuable time. So to help increase your chances of success, here are the answers to some common questions on how to fund a new business; Continue…

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Building a successful new business is a roller-coaster. There will be days you know you couldn’t do anything else, and days you wish you did. Sometimes you’ll be on top of the world, but at other times it will be a struggle to drag yourself out of bed.

In the high-stakes world of starting a new business, only one thing is certain: everyone will make mistakes, but only those who learn from them will succeed.

So, to help you learn from these common errors, without making them yourself, here are 8 mistakes that startups frequently make;
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Many small business owners don’t know about the Bank Referral Scheme, but it represents a significant milestone for business funding in the UK.

But what exactly is The Bank Referral Scheme, how does it work, and how will it help businesses? We asked Conrad Ford, Chief Executive of Funding Options, to explain; Continue…

You have a great business idea and you’re finally ready to make it a reality. However, the next obstacle you need to overcome is to find the funding you need to get your business off the ground.

In recent years, the advent of alternative finance has brought startups new funding options, and driven an explosion in the number of entrepreneurs raising money through crowdfunding. Specialist crowdfunding websites have made it possible for anybody with a business idea to reach out to potential investors. However, crowdfunding success isn’t guaranteed, no matter how good your business idea.

If you’re thinking of raising money to kick-start your business through a crowdfunding campaign, there are some key steps you need to take before you launch your campaign. With so much at stake, we asked Indiegogo to reveal the 6 things you need to do and know before you launch your crowdfunding campaign;
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Everybody understands that starting up a business from scratch is not a simple process or an easy challenge to take on.

Regardless of how lofty your ambitions are or whether you’re aiming to establish yourself as a sole trader or as a the boss of a burgeoning new enterprise, finding access to initial and early-stage sources of finance is a vitally important step along the way towards sustainability and success.

Here’s a look at some of the most commonplace and most viable routes to finance currently available to startup businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them.

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Young businesses and start-ups that are looking to raise funding have a dizzying array of choices nowadays. In fact, there has probably never been a bigger range of places to go for early-stage finance, from crowdfunding and angel investors through to government-backed start-up loans and P2P lenders.

But before we take a look at the options in more detail, it’s important to think about what sort of funding you’re after for your business, and what you’re prepared to offer in return. The basic division here is between equity and debt. Continue…

When the bank won't fund your businessPROMOTED GUIDE – This is a promoted guide from Funding Xchange – the business funding marketplace where lenders compete to fund your business. Get Funding Now

 

If you have approached your bank and found it difficult to secure the funds your business requires, you’re in good company. Banks are declining up to 50% of loan requests from some smaller businesses.

Banks’ lending decisions have very little to do with you or the prospects of your business. And their outdated processes and high costs of capital make it difficult for them to lend to smaller businesses.

Business owners are also being frustrated by the inability of banks to provide flexible forms of credit to businesses. This is highlighted by the fact that the availability of business overdrafts, long a favorite tool for businesses to smooth cash flow, has shrunk by more than 30%.

So where else can you get funding for your business?

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When it comes to writing a business plan, there is one single golden rule that dwarfs all others – your business plan must address each of the key concerns of your potential backer.

If you fail on this first point, all the other things you should and shouldn’t do pale into insignificance and even a great business idea might fail to get backing it needs. A good business plan keeps the investor happy, so follow these 10 Dos and Don’ts to ratchet up your chances of success:

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The Albion Growth Report – a study of 1,000 SMEs which aims to explore the factors that help businesses grow and the issues that hold them back – has found that the popularity of bank loans and business overdrafts is declining.

Instead, business owners appear to be turning to equity finance and other long-term financing options in place of the traditional bank sources.

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One of the biggest challenges start-ups and fledgling businesses face is securing the funding they need to realise their potential.

A majority of business owners feel that finding finance is difficult in the current climate, and in particular, that banks are reluctant to provide business loans at competitive rates.

So to help you maximise your chances of getting that all-important business loan, we asked Rishi Khosla, the CEO and co-founder of OakNorth Bank – a bank that specialises in lending to entrepreneurs and growth businesses – to share his valuable insight and personal experiences with ByteStart readers;
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With Global Entrepreneurship Week in full-swing, businesses are being urged to submit their entries for the 2016 Shell Springboard Program before the deadline for applications closes on Friday 20th, November.

The Shell Springboard Program offers funding awards of up to £150,000 to small enterprises with innovative, commercially viable business ideas that reduce carbon emissions and help in the move to a lower carbon economy.

Successful applicants will also enjoy the benefits of networking with the key players in the low-carbon sector and exciting publicity opportunities.
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If you need more finance to grow your business, there are a number of options which you might wish to consider. You could turn to your own personal savings, ask family members for help, get a bank loan, issue shares, or speak to some business angels or venture capitalists.

Or you could consider peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

P2P lending is fast becoming the norm for businesses needing finance to get an idea off the ground or raise the capital necessary to expand and take projects to the next level.

But whilst it’s become a more common financial avenue for SMEs to pursue, it’s still not as well-known as it could be. According to a 2014 Nesta Report, only 44% of UK small businesses have heard of P2P lending.

So what exactly is peer-to-peer lending and how can small and growing businesses use it to finance growth?
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When people talk about ‘gearing’ in a business, they are usually referring to one of two types;

  1. Financial gearing
  2. Operational gearing

Here’s a guide to what gearing is, and how you can use it to increase the returns your business makes;

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Starting up and sustaining a company is a tough challenge for even the most gifted of entrepreneurs or the brains behind the business world’s biggest and best ideas. Within that context, the margins for error tend to be slim, particularly when it comes to financial matters and the business of balancing your books.

Here are some of the best options potentially available to you if your company is facing a financial squeeze and is running out of cash, along with some ideas on how to approach the turnaround process.
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When you are starting a new business, you will most likely need to produce a cashflow forecast.

If you’re looking to raise money, from either a bank loan or outside investors, a cash flow will be one of the financial forecasts that you will need to produce for prospective lenders and investors.

As your business grows, a cash flow forecast becomes an increasingly important tool to help you manage the business and to avoid any sudden cash flow problems.

We all therefore appreciate the importance of a cash flow forecast, but are there any trade secrets to doing it better?

Here are some top tips to help you produce a better, more accurate cash flow forecast first time, and how you can use it to give your business a commercial advantage.
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8 signs that a small business may be approaching insolvency

April 17, 2015

Although it does not necessarily herald the end of a small business, decline into insolvency can bring significant changes in company structure, operations and management style. It’s worth checking your company for characteristic signs that, if spotted and acted upon early enough, could help you to steer the business away from danger. Here are 8 […]

Business angels or dragons – who do you trust to invest in your company?

March 30, 2015

Looking for an investor to help fund your business? You’d better make sure they’re an angel, not a dragon! Most businesses require outside investment at some point in their development. Whether you are a new business needing a cash injection to get started, or an established company looking to launch a new product or move […]

How to get your customers to fund your business start-up

October 10, 2014

While “entrepreneur” may occasionally be a euphemism for “out of work”, there are more and more individuals working in earnest to start a business of their own. Indeed, statistics show no fewer than 400 million such individuals globally, with over 2 million in the UK and 20 million in the US. Sadly, many of these […]

Factoring for small businesses – the pros and cons

November 21, 2013

If you’re doing well enough that your business is growing rapidly you would expect your finances to be healthy. But that isn’t always the case. If your firm is expanding quickly, you could find that your cash flow becomes a problem, even though your business is profitable. It’s a unique financial situation where you are […]

£100 million business funding scheme now open to all high growth potential companies

July 5, 2013

The Angel CoFund, which provides investment capital for businesses with the potential for rapid growth, can now be tapped by companies from all over the UK. Previously, only high-growth businesses in specific geographical areas of the UK were eligible for funding through the CoFund. However, a £50 million finance boost from the government’s Business Bank […]

Popular funding options for fledgling businesses

February 19, 2013

Many businesses will need to raise funds at some time – either at the start-up stage, or to finance expansion. With ‘traditional’ credit still in short supply and the possibility of a ‘triple dip recession’ in 2013, here is an overview of the various options open to small businesses looking to raise funds.

Small business funding – what are the main sources of finance?

October 8, 2011

Most small businesses will, at some stage, seek funding or investment – for growth, starting up, or to see them through a transitional period (or a downturn). In this article, we look at the main sources of funding that are available.

How to secure funding to help grow your business

October 8, 2011

Funding is essential for growth, but how do you ensure that you can secure it? Here Kim Farrell, Corporate Finance Partner at Essex-based chartered accountants CBHC LLP, offers some helpful advice.

Business bank loans – an overview for small businesses

October 8, 2011

The availability of bank loans for businesses is a hot topic at all stages of the economic cycle. During downturns, lending can become tightened, while boom times see some businesses take on huge debts in their quest for rapid growth.

How to secure start-up business funding

October 8, 2011

When you’re just starting in business for the first time, getting your hands on the finance you need to get established and begin to grow can be a difficult task.

How to fund your business – Overview

October 8, 2011

One of the least exciting things about starting your own business is getting the finances sorted out (unless you’re an accountant of course). But it is one of the most important tasks. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do – if the money runs out, your business is dead.